Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Alluvial fill deposits associated with the Saline and Smoky Hill Rivers in Ellis County, Kansas were examined for variation in particle size, quartz-feldspar ratios, and heavy minerals. A selection of six sample localities was made on each river, each locality being a sand and gravel pit exposed in the terrace. Eighteen samples were taken from the high terrace of the Saline River and eighteen samples from the Pfeifer terrace of the Smoky Hill River. Quartz-feldspar ratios were run and the results demonstrated quartz varies randomly from 73% to 82% along the Smoky Hill River and from 76% to 85% along the Saline River. Five major statistical parameters: 1) median diameter, 2) graphic mean diameter, 3) inclusive graphic standard deviation, 4) inclusive graphic skewness, and 5) graphic kurtosis were used to interpret the numerical results of the sieved samples. Results indicate median grain size is very close to 0.000, values for graphic kurtosis are very close to 1.00 (mesokurtic), and graphic inclusive skewness indicates coarsely skewed material with graphic standard deviation index indicating poorly sorted material. All parameters vary randomly with no regular pattern with downstream distance. The heavy mineral assemblage found in the Saline and Smoky Hill Rivers samples indicated the ultimate source area is composite in nature, made up of at least three different rock types: 1) acid igneous, 2) high rank metamorphic, and 3) basic igneous.


Michael E. Nelson

Date of Award

Summer 1974

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1974 Lionel P. Caprez


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